Explore UAB

MSN Nursing Health Systems Leadership
The UAB School of Nursing provides support and assistance to MSN and DNP students in securing appropriate clinical placement sites and qualified preceptors from among more than 5,000 clinical affiliates.

The UAB School of Nursing produces strong nurse leaders through its nationally ranked programs, including the nation's No. 5 Nursing Health Systems Administration Specialty, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2023.

Part of the Nursing Health Systems Leadership Pathway, the Nursing Health Systems Administration (NHSA) specialty prepares students for leadership positions in health care systems, from unit level to system wide leadership roles. Graduates are prepared for management roles at all levels of the organization.

To best accommodate the needs of the nursing workforce, the curriculum is offered via a part-time program of study delivered through a distance accessible format that combines synchronous online classes with on-campus intensives.

Apply Now
Learn more about our Administration specialty Register to attend our Virtual Open House.
Talk with our faculty and staff.
Next Open House: September 3, 2024
From 6 to 7 PM Central Time

Program Information

  • MSN Admission Requirements

    Prospective students must meet the following requirements for admission:

    • Hold a BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution and a nationally accredited nursing program (CCNE or CNEA accreditation), equivalent to the one offered by the UAB School of Nursing;
    • Possess an unencumbered and unrestricted nursing license to practice in the state where you plan to conduct your clinical practicum;
    • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or on the last 60 semester hours.
    • Students with less than a 3.2 GPA (last 60 hours undergraduate GPA or overall undergraduate GPA) are required to complete and submit scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or GMAT; only scores completed within the previous 5 years are accepted. Minimum required scores are a combined score of 297 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE or score of 480 on the GMAT. Applicants who have successfully completed a graduate degree from a regionally accredited academic institution may receive a waiver for this requirement if they achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their previous graduate degree program. The following individuals are not eligible for the GRE waiver process: International applicants, non-native English speaking applicants, and Dual degree seeking applicants (e.g., MSN/MPH). For more information on the Test Score Waiver process click here.
    • Submit three letters of professional reference attesting to the applicant's potential for graduate study;
    • Applicants should submit an official transcript from every college or university they have ever attended (even if for only one semester). Transcripts may be emailed electronically by the issuing institution to the UAB Graduate School at gradschool@uab.edu or mailed to:
      • UAB Graduate School
        LHL G03
        1720 2nd Ave. S.
        Birmingham, AL 35294-0013


  • State Regulations Governing Distance Programs

    Out-of-state applicants to any of our distance-accessible programs should become familiar with their state’s regulations governing distance accessible programs. Prospective students residing in states other than Alabama should contact their state’s Board of Nursing and Department of Education for specific rules and regulations pertaining to students enrolled in out-of-state programs and are planning to conduct UABSON distance education in their home state. Only those students who reside in Alabama or those states where the UAB School of Nursing programs are available will be eligible to receive an offer of admission.

    More information is available at the State Approval Website for Online Degree Programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  • Application for Admission/Application Deadlines

    Application Deadline

    Entry: Summer 2025
    Deadline: December 31, 2024

    Applications are accepted and considered on a rolling basis up to the application deadline. Admission may be limited to specific terms for certain specialty tracks. Please refer to the specialty track sections above for more information.

  • Sample Program of Study

    The curriculum is accomplished through 36 credit hours of coursework, with 28 credit hours of didactic coursework and 8 credit hours of clinical practica, that is completed in two academic years (six semesters).

    Sample Program of Study1,2

    Year 1
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    1 SummerNHSL 704Q Developing the Advanced Nurse Leader3
    NSHL 710Q Health Care Systems for Advanced Nurse Leaders 3
    2 FallNUR 729Q Evidence-Based Practice for Advanced-Level Nursing3
    NHSA 618 Human Resource Management3
    3 SpringNHSA 616 Nursing Financial Management4
    NHSA 617L Nursing Financial Management Practicum2
    Year 2
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    4 SummerNHSA 631 Advanced Quality and Patient Safety4
    NHSA 681L Advanced Quality and Patient Safety Practicum I2
    5 FallNHSA 632 Nursing Health Systems Administration I4
    NHSA 682L Nursing Health Systems Administration Practicum I2
    6 SpringNHSA 633 Nursing Health Systems Administration II4
    NHSA 683L Nursing Health Systems Administration Practicum II2
    Total Credit Hours36

    1Program of Study is subject to change.
    2Curriculum is currently under revision due to credentialing updates and new programs of study will be updated in 2024.

  • MSN Program Outcomes

    Upon completion of the MSN Program, students will be able to:

    • Synthesize research, theoretical formulations, and principles of scientific inquiry to provide evidence-based practice.
    • Assume leadership in managing and evaluating continuous quality improvement processes.
    • Use information systems/technology to evaluate programs of care, outcomes of care, and care systems.
    • Advocate and implement health-care policies that improve access, equity, efficiency, and social justice in the delivery of health care.
    • Provide ethical, culturally sensitive care in an advanced nursing role independently and collaboratively with professionals from multiple disciplines.
    • Monitor the quality of one's own nursing practice based on professional practice standards and relevant statutes and regulations.
    • Apply theories and principles of marketing, economics, consultation, management, and leadership to comprehensively perform an advanced nursing role.
  • Tuition and Fees

    The following tuition and fees are valid for the 2024-2025 academic year. Tuition and fees and are SUBJECT TO CHANGE annually based on approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees and/or university.

    The estimates below are based on the costs listed at the UAB Office of Planning and Analysis website.

    Each student’s costs will vary depending upon a number of factors including state of residence, the number of credits taken in a semester, or whether the student attends class live or through a distance-accessible format. Fees vary by program and course.

    Tuition and Fees
    UAB School of Nursing 2024-2025
    Charge ($)
    Charge ($)
    MSN Coursework (distance-accessible format per semester hour)702702
    Fees - UAB School of NursingCost ($)
    Educational Support and Technology Fee (per course)235
    Other Related Expenses (Estimated)Cost ($)
    Books and supplies (estimate per term)600
    Student Hospitalization Insurance Fee1 (estimate per month)270
    Background Check (annual estimate)92
    1 Estimate based on one student. May be waived with documented proof of equal or greater coverage.
  • Funding Your Education

    UAB Financial Aid and Scholarships

    Information on Financial Aid, University Scholarships and other funding opportunities is available at:

    UAB School of Nursing Scholarships

    • The School of Nursing at UAB has an excellent scholarship program that provides financial support to Alabama’s best and brightest nursing students.
    • Currently, the School’s scholarship portfolio consists of 76 endowed scholarships and 3 active sponsored scholarships.
    • The school currently has an $10.1 million endowed fund that supports nursing scholarships annually.
    • Scholarships are awarded twice a year – spring and fall semesters. The scholarship application process is simple. One application is needed to be considered for all undergraduate or graduate scholarships.
    • Application and additional information can be found at https://www.uab.edu/nursing/home/scholarships-financial-aid

    For Information about School of Nursing Scholarships, Contact:

    Photo of Stephanie Hamberger
    Stephanie Hamberger, MPA
    Director of Student Engagement, Recruitment and Scholarships
    (205) 934-5483

    Fellowship, Traineeship, and Other Funding for Graduate Programs

    There are a limited number of Graduate Fellowships and Traineeships that are awarded through the UAB School of Nursing that require students to meet specific requirements, and are only awarded when funds are available. When such funds are available in a particular program, students enrolled in the program will be notified and provided information on how to apply. Contact Katrina Staffney (email: KatrinaStaffney@uab.edu), for more information.

    Nurse Faculty Loan

    Federal Nurse Faculty Loan Funds are available to MSN students who intend to assume a faculty position in a school of nursing upon completion of the degree. These funds are limited to payment of tuition and fees and other reasonable educational expenses. Contact JoeAnn Kennedy (email: joeann@uab.edu), for more information.

  • Information for International Students

    NOTE: Prospective International students must first contact UAB International Admissions to determine eligibility to study in the U.S. and/or submit an application for admission to UAB.

    UAB International Admissions
    Email: IntlAdmin@uab.edu
    Phone: (205) 934-4686
    Fax: (205) 934-8664

    The table below provides information on eligibility requirements for the MSN Program.

    F1 or J1 Visa AcceptableNot eligible for this program
    College Degree (BSN Equivalent)Required
    Foreign Transcripts EvaluatedRequired
    English ProficiencyRequired
    Graduate Record Exam (GRE)Required
    Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the U.S.Required

    Application Requirements

    • Prospective students must have a bachelors degree in nursing equivalent to that offered by a U.S. regionally accredited educational institution.
    • For Graduate Clinical Programs such as the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program, prospective students must also be licensed as a registered nurse in the U.S., in the state in which they will reside while completing the program.
    • International applicants must, as part of their application, provide a detailed course by course evaluation of their academic transcripts and verification of their academic credentials. Students may use one of the following firms for transcript evaluation; a report of the evaluation must be submitted directly to the UAB School of Nursing prior to admission decisions.
      • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
        P.O. Box 514070
        Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 USA
        Website: www.ece.org
      • World Education Services
        Bowling Green Station
        P.O. Box 5087
        New York, NY 10274-5087 USA
        Website: www.wes.org
    • Applicants must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on prior college/university course work.
    • Applicants must complete and submit their scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as part of the application process. If the GRE was completed prior to application, only scores completed within the previous 5 years are accepted.
    • Completion of a formal admission interview.
    • Meet English language requirements. Students must submit scores on Tests of English Language (TOEFL or IELTS) and achieve the following minimum scores:
      • TOEFL iBT 80 and minimum of 18 in each of the 4 test sections, or
      • IELTS 6.5 and minimum of 6.0 in at least 2 of the 4 test sections.


Charlene Bender

Charlene Bender


MSN Program Manager
Office of Student Success


(205) 975-7529

Greg Eagerton

Greg Eagerton


Coordinator, Nursing Health Systems Administration


(205) 975-9101